Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Address: 803 5th Ave N Seattle (map)
Overall Rating: 3.2 / 10pts
If you've ever been to "family restaurants" in Japan, like Denny's, Jonathan or Skylark, you might get the same feeling here at Marinepolis Sushi Land in Queen Anne. From the cheap looking floor and the lighting, to lots and lots of highschool and college kids dining and waiting in line, this place has that "fami-resu" feeling. For those of you who don't know "fami-resu", the atmosphere feels just like McDonalds or Taco Bell. Compared to the other conveyer belt "kaiten-sushi" place like, Blue-C, Sushi Land gets 0 points for atmosphere (unless you are young and like that kind of environment). There is a big conveyer belt in middle of the restaurant, and inside stands several sushi chefs, and the customers sit on outside of the belt. On the belt, several different colors of plates pass by in front of you. Different colors represent different prices. It doesn't matter what time of the day, or weekday you go to, this place is always packed, and you have to sit and wait.
Their sushi is what it is. Sushi Land is probably one of the cheapest places to eat sushi in entire Seattle. Where else can you get two pieces of uni for just $3? Most of their basic sushi such as salmon, tuna, squid, white fish run for just $1.50 for 2 pieces. If you stick to this basic $1.50 plates (there are $1 plates, too), you can eat 20 pieces of nigiri, and walk out with just a $20 bill. This is where my poor-and-starving college friends go to do get their sushi craving. Although the fish is cut fairly decently, a lot of the sushi I picked out tasted dry. It makes me wonder how long these sushi had been going around and around. If there's something you don't see on the belt, you can always ask one of the chefs to make one for you, which I found out is better because at least it's fresher that way. I picked out an interesting sushi, which had kazunoko inserted in thin slicked saba. That was actually quite tasty and unique, but everything else was not great. Still, I like that they represent themselves as a cheap place, and charge very little, instead of places like Todai that tries to sell "slightly upscale" with crappy food.
At Sushi Land, you can order non-sushi stuff, like udon for $3, or just pick up some gyoza or edamame or tempura that goes around on the belt. Most of them taste like an instant, microwaveable food, but since they are all less than $3, you really can't complain much.
Depending on which sushi maker you sit by, you get a different kind of service. Some chefs seem to be faster and more knowledgeable than the other. Since the place is always busy (even right before the closing time), the wait staff is always running around to serve some tea to the sitting customers and to run the credit cards at the cashier. Even if I were in highschool or college, and needed a part time job, I don't know if I will want to work here at Sushi Land since they have to run around constantly.